US hog industry struggles

May 15, 2023

The US industry continues to struggle. Hog prices below cost of production is putting a major financial stress on much of the Pork sector. There will be significantly fewer pigs year over year by the end of 2023 and even fewer in 2024.

Our Observations

  • Major sow liquidation is underway which will decrease the U.S. sow herd by 4% – 200,000 – 250,000 sows in our opinion. A reflection of the economic conditions but also the ongoing health issue problems that over and over lead to decreased production and spikes in cost of production.
  • There is a challenge to get sows marketed currently a combination of large numbers and pork market conditions with sow mortality industrywide of 14 -15% slowed gilt placement due to market in itself will cut the sow herd.
  • We have seen many hog price debacles in the time we have been in business. The scenario today seems somewhat different. Why?
  • In other price collapses we dealt usually with spiked hog production. Year to date the U.S. has produced 1% more Pork than a year ago. With Beef production down 4.9% year to date total Red Meat production is down 2.0%. Certainly not significantly more Pork and a lot less Beef.
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